On a late afternoon April 30th, Amanda (our Senior Manager of Partnership) finally confirmed – “Anthony, you are now a keynote speaker for ‘Insurance Analytics & AI Innovation Asia Pacific 2019’ ”.
“What? Oh ok.”
Not understanding what I just been enrolled in, a slow sense of realization quickly became a strong sense of nervousness that would come to haunt me in the coming weeks.
Let me share a bit more about myself first. As an actuary, I have been responsible for product development and actuarial pricing since 2006 and have held many leadership roles, but I have never been comfortable with speaking publicly. Furthermore, I am generally a quiet and timid “back-office” guy – I can hardly imagine myself standing on stage and delivering a presentation to hundreds of industry peers scrutinizing my ideas and experience.
You need to stretch a bit outside your comfort zone and BE DIFFERENT in order to grow.
This is how ZA grows, and this is how I grow.
However, I was not facing the challenge by myself. My colleagues offered help before I asked. Our Marketing Communication Manager, Yan Yan, prepared professional PR training for me, fine-tuned the presentation deck and rehearsed with me. My product team partner, Ian, shared his previous experience and helped me simplify the content and be concise (but not without dealing with his pithy American-styled jabs ?). All the support was a huge confidence booster for me.
On 26 June, I could proudly say I delivered my first public speaking piece on “How ZA redefines insurance products and proposition with technology” well. I was relieved to see the audience applause and provide with positive feedback. I received several positive messages from the audience regarding my insightful delivery, and even some potential business partners approached me to discuss collaboration. All these recognition are essential fuel that drives me to do better in the upcoming public speaking.
Let’s do it TOGETHER, to make things better
ZA has a culture and is a platform that provides me with an opportunity to explore myself and unleash the potential in me that I have never thought of. However, you do need a spark to get started and take ownership of it. It is an honour to have the chance of working with so many talented and dedicated teammates. Their professional and selfless support reinforces my determination to grow with them, and with the company.
I see unity, trust and teamwork here. It is my team that makes me believe that we can face any challenge ahead, together.